Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Everything I Needed to Know I learned from Pat Robinson

On the Monday edition of the 700 Club (a Christain talk show) Pat Robinson made the following comments about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez:

"If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it."

We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.

"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability."

This is not spin, they are direct quotes. They are not an out-of-context but the theme of his larger statement (which you can watch for yourself on the CNN website here). When I first heard about this quote, I didn't believe it. But after listening to his statement a few times--and coming to grips with its inner truths--here is what I have learned:

1. Thou shalt not commit murder applies to everyone, so long as you are not a commie and/or a Muslim Extremist.

2. Political assasination is a valid and moral form of politics according to mainstream popular Christian thought.

3. What Would Jesus Do? Assasinate commies to save the money of a war.

4. All that talk of turning the other cheek in the Holy Bible was meant to be taken figuratively, as is the sixth commandment.

Okay... enough of that. I really only learned one thing from that statement by Pat Robinson:

Pat Robinson is the biggest hipocrit in American Christian Politics. He should resign in shame and spend his life in repentance to save his soul.

People like this make Americans look like idiots. Osama is laughing his ass off and pointing at the TV, saying "See, I told you!" In fact, what Pat Robinson said is so similar to the things that Osama says in his speeches that I am still geeking out about it. Osama says that Americans should die for who they are: infidel imperialists. Pat Robinson says that Chavez should die for what he is: a communist supporter of muslim extremism. I might add that Chavez was elected by his nation (though under the cloud of fixed elections).

I am not defending Chavez. If he died today, I would not cry. To say he is a threat to the US and the region in general is not overstating the problem. Chavez is a dictator in the style of Castro and Kim Jong-il, and under his leadership we can expect in his country the kind of prosperity we see in Cuba and North Korea. His country sits on a third of the world's oil, which could have a tremendous effect on world economies, a power I don't think is safe in his hands. I want him out. I find it hard to believe any free-minded person in America would support his tenure, but calling for his assassination by the US is so stupid as to be absurd.

Other thinks Pat Robinson has said:

  • He called for a meator to hit Florida because Disneyworld had a Gay Day.
  • He suggested it would be poetic justice if a nuke would be tested out on the State Department building

If Robinson was an elected official he would be driven out on a rail. But he is only a very prominant Christian evangelist politician/preacher who failed miserably in national politics (thankfully). It is up to those that he has supported in the past (read: Bush) to tear him a new one and put him in his place. That place must be absolute political isolation, the kind we give to KKK members.

Pat Robinson is lucky enough to live in a country where his right to be an abject asshole on national TV is protected by the constitution. It is incumbant on the rest of us to show him just how much we appreciate his opinions. In the American discourse on politics statements like this cannot be allowed to represent us, no matter if you are conservative, moderate, or liberal. This kind of speech is unamerican.

What is the difference between an extremist arab calling for the death of americans and an extremist Christian calling for the death of Chavez?

Answer: not a whole hell of a lot.

I will be carefully watching the responses from those in America who call themselves religious. How they react to this kind of terrorist-like statement will massively modify my opinion of them. Anyone backing up this kind of statement deserves to be pushed off the political bus.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Class of 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011...

School starts next week and I can't wait.

I am beginning to think that I will be a perpetual student. I don't mean that in a trite way ("I will never graduate") or in a philosphical way ("I will always be learning as I grow old in this world of ours"), but rather I really will be in one school or another for the rest of my life, by choice and for fun.

I graduate this Winter with my BA in English Writing (that should get me a job about as fast as Darren's philosphy degree) and will be going on for my Masters in the Spring. I will be teaching as a substitute in the AV next year, assuming they will accept a non-credential degree. One of my goals is to be a college professor, but while I work that out I may be going back to undergrad work and completing my credential classes to get my English Specialist (whatever that is) rank so I can teach middle- and Highschool English and Language Arts while working on my Masters. Happy happy joy joy.

What I really need to do is to sell a series of novels and become a world famous author. Then I can get lots of honorary degrees for speaking at graduations.

But even as I write this I am thinking about what my "second" degree will be in. Perhaps history, anthropology, photography (they offer that?) or some science. I would make a great theoretical physicist if it didn't include mathmatics. I really hate math, but there I am listening to KITP lectures on superstring theory and particle physics (not understanding most of it except as general concepts), and hating math is one of those things that kind of precludes a career as the next Stephen Hawking. BTW, the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics is a great site. They have all their lectures, workshops, and discussions recorded in Realmedia. Hawking seems to present there at least once a year, and some of them are actually understandable by novice fans of physics and astronomy like myself. If you have an interest in the state of particle physics, superstring theory, M-theory, or just want to be taken down a notch on the pride scale, listen in.

Perhaps I will go for my PhD in English. It is kind of premature to think about that, but as I am already conteplating another discipline, well, maybe not.

Griffin was pretty surprised when I told him that I had already read my Astronomy textbook for the class that starts in two weeks. In fact, I will probably have the books assigned by all my professors for the Fall schedule read once through before classes start. During the Summer I have listened to eight complete classes-on-tape (well MP3) on subjects that are similar to my schedule (e.g. A 40 hour course in Astronomy, The Civil War: a Narrative, A couple pop history courses with titles like "everything you learned in highschool is wrong" and stuff like that).

So, I am here to report that my OCD is doing just fine, thanks.

I should be putting up a couple smallish sci-fi stories that I have written and do not plan to sell, so stay tuned.